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Samsung's 8Gb LPDDR4 Chip Brings 4GB DDR4 to Mobile

By - Source: Samsung Press Release | B 24 comments

Looks like 4 GB DDR4 memory chips are heading to future mobile devices.

On Sunday night Samsung Electronics announced that it developed the industry's first 8 gigabit (Gb), low power double data rate 4 (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM. Fabricated using 20 nm class process technology, the new chip now makes possible 1 Gigabyte (GB) on a single die. Four 8 gigabit chips create one 4 GB LPDDR4 package.

"This next-generation LPDDR4 DRAM will contribute significantly to faster growth of the global mobile DRAM market, which will soon comprise the largest share of the entire DRAM market," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Samsung Electronics.

Samsung says the new 8 Gb chip uses a Low Voltage Swing Terminated Logic (LVSTL) I/O interface, allowing the chip to transfer data at 3200 megabits per second (Mbps) per pin. That's twice the amount the 20nm-class LPDDR3 DRAM can achieve, which is now in mass production. The new chip also consumes around 40 percent less energy at 1.1 volts.

"With the new chip, Samsung will focus on the premium mobile market including large screen UHD smartphones, tablets and ultra-slim notebooks that offer four times the resolution of full-HD imaging, and also on high-performance network systems," the company announced on Sunday.

News of the 8 Gb chip arrives after Samsung began mass producing 3 GB LPDDR3 mobile DRAM modules back in July. The 3 GB module uses six 20 nm class 4 Gb LPDDR3 chips in a symmetrical structure of two sets of three chips stacked in a single package only 0.8 millimeters high. The module is capable of data transfer speeds of up to 2,133 Mbps per pin.

"We will continue introducing the most advanced mobile DRAM one step ahead of the rest of the industry so that global OEMs can launch innovative mobile devices with exceptional user convenience in the timeliest manner," Young-Hyun Jun added.

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    Dragoic , December 30, 2013 2:13 PM
    No. Phones won't replace nor surpass PC's. Phone will just one day be able to do what nowadays PC's can do (Multiple cores with a lot higher Ghz and graphics close to what GTX 780/R9 290 can handle). I don't expect Nvidia nor AMD to simply just say "Done. No more need for graphic/performance improvements" There will always be need for stronger chips.
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    khaledegy200 , December 30, 2013 12:06 PM
    woah! the ddr4 hasn't released yet for PCs and we have it for smartphones??!

    i think the smartphones power may surpass PCs in someday....
  • -4 Hide
    RealBeast , December 30, 2013 12:39 PM
    Marketecture, nothing more.
  • 0 Hide
    blubbey , December 30, 2013 1:35 PM
    Quote:
    woah! the ddr4 hasn't released yet for PCs and we have it for smartphones??!

    i think the smartphones power may surpass PCs in someday....


    Stick a load together to make a super phonputer!
  • 17 Hide
    Dragoic , December 30, 2013 2:13 PM
    No. Phones won't replace nor surpass PC's. Phone will just one day be able to do what nowadays PC's can do (Multiple cores with a lot higher Ghz and graphics close to what GTX 780/R9 290 can handle). I don't expect Nvidia nor AMD to simply just say "Done. No more need for graphic/performance improvements" There will always be need for stronger chips.
  • -4 Hide
    somebodyspecial , December 30, 2013 2:14 PM
    If you still think Intel is leading the industry in fabs by 2yrs you are sadly mistaken. Say hello to samsung. When Samsung starts pumping out 64bit Arm chips (probably for NV etc) at 20nm look out. I'm guessing Denver (and all it's competition) will be aimed at desktop speeds (think 4ghz Arm cores, and Custom in NV's Denver case, Qcom will likely have some custom Arm 64 core also) and we will see a VERY close power race in all things at that point. I would be shocked if NV doesn't put a video card with a SOC in a 500watt box for a desktop PC. Everyone is coming for x86 market share in 2015. AMD/Intel should be very nervous. More games are already being made on mobile than PC or anything else. As they evolve (4GB in your phone next year?, holy crap), and graphics up their game so to speak, these will become pretty darn good desktops that browse, get email, and play great games. The next shoe to drop will be a full adobe suite on ARM and many apps will follow after that.

    WINTEL's party is over. It might take years for them to really become even with ARM in apps but don't forget 90% of the public just browses the web, gets mail and plays games. So for most of the public we really don't need a PC these days, or at least we don't need it to be Wintel. How many people do you know that even own a copy of OFFICE? I could actually dump Office myself if it wasn't for being in IT/Enterprise.

    If google wants to speed this train along, they better make their next OS require 3-4GB of memory in the phone etc Note it doesn't have to be a pig, I just mean a check for this amount in the device or the OS won't run even if it can run great on 512MB like kit kat. You want to make the norm higher when the cost is only $11 for the 1GB in iphone. The 3GB module samsung is making now can't be more than $20 probably. For $10 or so more on the phone you give developers 3GB to work with instead of 1GB no matter how much of that goes to the OS bigger memory is better. If the OS uses 512MB in a 1GB phone you only give the dev 512MB to run in. Why not give that same dev 2.5GB of 3GB to work with?
  • 1 Hide
    Krisk7 , December 30, 2013 2:24 PM
    Competition is always good - including cross-platform. However I think this news will not impress Intel / AMD nearly as much as we would like.
  • -3 Hide
    Morbus , December 30, 2013 4:07 PM
    We've had DDR5 on PCs for ages. On the graphics cards, sure, but it's there. These LPDDR4 are nothing impressive compared to even the faster DDR3 of today.
  • 5 Hide
    CaedenV , December 30, 2013 4:52 PM
    Quote:
    If you still think Intel is leading the industry in fabs by 2yrs you are sadly mistaken. Say hello to samsung. When Samsung starts pumping out 64bit Arm chips (probably for NV etc) at 20nm look out. I'm guessing Denver (and all it's competition) will be aimed at desktop speeds (think 4ghz Arm cores, and Custom in NV's Denver case, Qcom will likely have some custom Arm 64 core also) and we will see a VERY close power race in all things at that point. I would be shocked if NV doesn't put a video card with a SOC in a 500watt box for a desktop PC. Everyone is coming for x86 market share in 2015. AMD/Intel should be very nervous. More games are already being made on mobile than PC or anything else. As they evolve (4GB in your phone next year?, holy crap), and graphics up their game so to speak, these will become pretty darn good desktops that browse, get email, and play great games. The next shoe to drop will be a full adobe suite on ARM and many apps will follow after that.

    WINTEL's party is over. It might take years for them to really become even with ARM in apps but don't forget 90% of the public just browses the web, gets mail and plays games. So for most of the public we really don't need a PC these days, or at least we don't need it to be Wintel. How many people do you know that even own a copy of OFFICE? I could actually dump Office myself if it wasn't for being in IT/Enterprise.

    If google wants to speed this train along, they better make their next OS require 3-4GB of memory in the phone etc Note it doesn't have to be a pig, I just mean a check for this amount in the device or the OS won't run even if it can run great on 512MB like kit kat. You want to make the norm higher when the cost is only $11 for the 1GB in iphone. The 3GB module samsung is making now can't be more than $20 probably. For $10 or so more on the phone you give developers 3GB to work with instead of 1GB no matter how much of that goes to the OS bigger memory is better. If the OS uses 512MB in a 1GB phone you only give the dev 512MB to run in. Why not give that same dev 2.5GB of 3GB to work with?


    You are quite wrong about Samsung's ability to beat Intel in fabrication. Things like nand flash and RAM are very simple structures which are easy to shrink. They cannot simply apply the same process to a CPU and get it to work without a lot of tweaking to get things right. Intel is full of wizards who can make die shrinks work, and they will have a process advantage over everyone for years to come. Maybe in 10 years or so someone may overtake them, but certainly not before then. I mean, they are already playing with sub 10nm CPUs in the lab in prep for figuring out mass production in a few years. Meanwhile TMSC and Sammy are having difficulty making much simpler structures any smaller than 20nm. I am not saying they will not get there, but it will be behind Intel.

    As for Wintel being over, I think you may be right, but it has a lot more to do with Microsoft's failings than it does Intel's. MS could still figure things out, and I personally hope that they do as my whole ecosystem is MS and I am not a fan of starting over any time soon, but there is a real possibility that they could go belly up in the next 10 years... which is a really scary thought.

    Let's not confuse the quantity of games and apps with the quality of games and apps. Most apps on the market are a joke and can barely work as advertised. If a company puts out a workable app, it is typically just a dumbed down version of their website, and most of the time I prefer going to a mobile website than using an app. And games? please! I am not ready to concede that mobile games are anywhere near the quality of flash based games from years gone by, much less full console or desktop AAA titles. I mean who was really impressed with Angry Birds when it came out who had played 100 similar flash games 5 years previous? Not saying that I have not enjoyed myself some Angry Birds from time to time, but the idea that it is somehow better than some of those much earlier offerings is a bit short sighted. And outside of games like Angry Birds, or ports of old games like Final Fantasy, I have yet to find a single game that I really enjoy on any mobile platform... and I like a pretty wide range of games. I hope and pray that it gets better with time, but the programming and the interface bring some true challenges to the table to make games that are worth playing for the sake of playing them as opposed to games that are just there to kill time. I hope to see that some time, but have yet to see it.

    The big problem with ARM is ironically an issue of efficiency. ARM was designed and built around the idea of having limited but purposeful instructions, on a lightweight processor that takes a minimum amount of power. It does this very well, which is why it has been used for years in everything from microwave ovens, to cars, to the earliest of digital cordless phones, and CD players. Heck, your average PC has a ton of ARM chips which are used to control things like your HDD, the laser in your optical drive, etc. ARM is everywhere, and it is there for a good reason; because Intel cannot cut things down small enough to be effective as a single-purpose device (try as they may with quark).
    But let's not confuse 'low power' with 'efficient power use'. For those limited use platforms ARM is extremely efficient. The issue is that when ARM gets bigger and more capable then it is unable to scale that efficiency. When it comes to multi-tasking, content creation work, and other multi-use environments then ARM falls flat on it's face from a power usage perspective. Yes, the Intel chip uses more power in general, but the performance is there to get the workload done so much faster that the ARM chips use much more power for a given task rather than less. As Intel continues to wage war on power usage with their Atom and Quark product lines, while continuing to trim the fat on their server and desktop lines, I think that we will see that it is far easier to scale x86 down than it will be to scale ARM up. Intel didn't really care much about power usage until ~4 years ago, and we are just starting to see the beginnings of their power reduction efforts. But ARM has been working at getting bigger for more than 10 years and is just beginning to see a little bit of success.

    x86 will not go away any time soon. For that matter, ARM is not going to go away any time soon. There is place in the world for both platforms to shine, and the back and forth competition between the two will improve each other greatly.
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , December 30, 2013 4:57 PM
    Quote:
    We've had DDR5 on PCs for ages. On the graphics cards, sure, but it's there. These LPDDR4 are nothing impressive compared to even the faster DDR3 of today.


    We have GDDR5 on the PC which is a variant of DDR3 that uses higher clocks and wider blocks of information which is better suited to video processing than general processing.
    LPDDR4 brings DDR3 performance levels in a much smaller die space using much less power, and is worlds faster than the LPDDR2 which is found in most phones today, and offers a little better performance but much better power savings than LPDDR3 which is in today's high end devices.

    You cannot compare mobile with your desktop until the day you cram your desktop into a device the size of a phone.
  • -4 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , December 30, 2013 9:58 PM
    OMG it's happening. I predicted in 2015, we'd start to see SmartPhones replace PCs. Soon, they'll have 4GB of RAM. What more do most PCs need, let alone SmartPhones which don't run bulky OS's...yet. Next, they'll need to invent laptops with a Bluetooth sync button.
  • -2 Hide
    jerm1027 , December 30, 2013 10:03 PM
    Quote:
    No. Phones won't replace nor surpass PC's. Phone will just one day be able to do what nowadays PC's can do (Multiple cores with a lot higher Ghz and graphics close to what GTX 780/R9 290 can handle). I don't expect Nvidia nor AMD to simply just say "Done. No more need for graphic/performance improvements" There will always be need for stronger chips.


    I doubt it, not without a new microprocessor material. We've almost taped out silicon, so as long as smartphones are using silicon chips, they won't even be on par with PC's for one simple reason: power consumption. Smartphones are on a strict power restriction because no one wants a phone that will die out in an hour like gaming laptops do, and have to remain portable enough to fit in a pocket without weighing as much as a brick. I also doubt we'll see much higher clock speeds for the same reason. Both Bulldozer and Prescott (or any) Pentium 4's were notorious for power consumption, and heat output; both compensated an inefficient architecture by firing off high clock speeds, which dramatically increase power consumption, especially beyond the 3GHz mark for P4's.
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , December 30, 2013 10:09 PM
    Quote:
    woah! the ddr4 hasn't released yet for PCs and we have it for smartphones??!

    It is much easier to introduce new DRAM technology in applications where memory is hard-wired into the rest of the device: no need to worry about manufacturing interchangeable parts with standard timings and interfaces, you can simply design around whatever you have on-hands that you can make work together.

    Intel's high-end servers that use FBDIMM have an abstraction layer between the CPUs' memory controller and the DRAM chips which allows those servers to use DDR4 without the CPU having to know what sort of DRAM is on the other side of the FBDIMM chip. IIRC, Micron demonstrated the first DDR4 FBDIMM about a year ago.
  • 0 Hide
    boytitan2 , December 30, 2013 11:08 PM
    To people commenting that this means phones may surpass computers no it won't happen for one ddr3 phone ram is no where near equal to destop ddr3 heck it is only barely=To ddr2 800mhz desktop ram and inferior to 1066 ddr2 desktop ram. So this LPDDR4 ram will most likely perform like lower speed ddr3 desktop ram. Finally it is most likely ddr4 ram will be skipped on desktops I don't see the point of it and feel when the need for DDR4 ram comes we might as well just skip to DDR5.
  • 1 Hide
    rwinches , December 31, 2013 12:52 AM
    Enough of the mini blogs and especially mini blogs with a full quote of another mini blog.

    It is certainly reasonable to say that for a majority of users the smartphone may soon be the core unit that is portable and easily plugged into a dock that provides for a full sized keyboard and monitor. With the move to cloud storage and SW plus virtual desktops and the ability to link to home storage a 64bit 4GB UHD spec will move us pretty close. The rumor is the Galaxy S5 will have these specs.
  • -1 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , December 31, 2013 6:42 AM
    I reject your premise that people are moving to cloud storage. Companies like Google who scan your data for targeted advertising and three letter agencies like the NSA would like you to believe cloud storage is the future, but it's not.

    The speed, capacity, and affordability of flash memory is increasing at a far greater rate than remote storage can fix their speed and latency issues. Micro SD cards are as small as my pinky nail and can hold 64 GB of data at an affordable price, and best of all it is my data under my control. Who needs remote storage? If remote storage was so wonderful, it wouldn't need gay marketing terms like cloud storage.
  • 0 Hide
    game junky , December 31, 2013 3:07 PM
    I guess this was inevitable - the current-gen devices that would get the most benefit from this are tablets in my opinion. Imagine what features and interfaces Apple and Google could implement in their mobile platforms with 2-4 times the system memory. I am not directly linking performance and OS-functionality to system memory but when you look at the original version of iOS running on a device with 128MB vs the iOS 7 running with 1GB of RAM dedicated to the operating system, it seems like it's a necessary evil.
  • 0 Hide
    Sakkura , December 31, 2013 4:03 PM
    Quote:
    woah! the ddr4 hasn't released yet for PCs and we have it for smartphones??!

    i think the smartphones power may surpass PCs in someday....

    DDR4 and LPDDR4 are both released already. It's just that no devices use them yet. No PC motherboards support it, no phones use it.
  • -1 Hide
    kanakabp , December 31, 2013 4:31 PM
    until the number of useful apps for ARM as many as x86, i won't say that ARM would surprass the PC. you know, Octa-core 2.5GHz 64Bit ARM, 4GB RAM and still can't run photoshop, it's really useless
  • -1 Hide
    InvalidError , December 31, 2013 4:35 PM
    Quote:
    Imagine what features and interfaces Apple and Google could implement in their mobile platforms with 2-4 times the system memory.

    I imagine they would look almost exactly like what they can already do today since UIs themselves rarely use much RAM unless you start throwing in icons, wallpapers and skins with ludicrously high resolutions which can eat through tons of RAM with little to no observable benefit. What eats up tons of RAM on full-blown OSes is all the legacy stuff, middleware, redundant APIs, abstraction layers, etc. from every vendor who produces middleware stuff that inserts itself all over the place to support a peripheral or other piece of software. Tablets and phones are exempt from most of that... at least for now.

    I would be far more interested in more effective multi-tasking... Android seems too trigger-happy with booting applications out of RAM to reclaim memory and telling apps to dump buffers - I rarely see my N7v1 drop below 300MB free RAM before Chrome starts flushing rendered pages.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , December 31, 2013 4:59 PM
    Quote:
    you know, Octa-core 2.5GHz 64Bit ARM, 4GB RAM and still can't run photoshop, it's really useless

    The only reason it "cannot" run Photoshop is simply because Adobe has not ported Photoshop to Android. Not quite the same thing as being unable to run it due to fundamental lack of resources to make it remotely viable.

    You obviously won't be editing large-format high-DPI posters on a tablet with 2GB RAM and a ~2GHz CPU but most people who would run a Photoshop-style program on a tablet will likely be editing the shots from the tablet or phone's 5-12MP camera. That would be within today's SoCs' capabilities.
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